Above is the photo I was shooting with the home made rig I displayed in my last blog post. This is one of the guns on display at the entrance to Battleship Park in Mobile, Alabama. If you look hard you can the Battleship Alabama in the background.
I really didn’t want to get into post processing because it involves so many of the same kinds of issues that make me generally dislike digital photography and why I still predominately shoot film. Somehow though, all that computer techie stuff seems justified and dare I say it, even fun, when it comes to creating 3-D stereo mages. In any case, when it comes to turning photographic images into stereo pairs to create a 3-D image there’s often a bit of work to be done after the pictures are taken.
In the “old days” of course, people sat for hours at well lighted work tables with magnifying glasses and special cutters to carefully align and crop the images, mount them in frames or holders to make them suitable for viewing in specially made photo or slide viewers. Viewmaster reels are just one familiar example of this method and technology.
The idea is to have photos or slides aligned in such a way as to have the exact same frame of reference but from two different perspectives. This is not always possible but generally we get as close as we can and the brain does the rest for us.
These days of course we have computers to help us accomplish this with much greater accuracy and precision. There are a number of different programs that can do what needs to be done but the one I use is free (a great advantage in my opinion) and is reportedly one of the very best for creating stereo pairs. It is appropriately called “Stereo Photo Maker” and is available at the following web site:
There is also a “Stereo Slide Show,” Stereo Movie Maker,” as well as other programs on the site but I’ve had my hands full with making photos and haven’t explored the others yet.
What “Stereo Photo Maker” does is create a perfectly aligned stereo pair and merge them together into one file which can then be viewed on the screen using the freeview method or any one of the viewers suitable for this purpose. The file can also be printed and used in a stereo photo viewer (or using the freeview method), or turned into slides to be used with a slide viewer. You can even make or have a Viewmaster type reel made to be viewed in a Viewmaster viewer.
I won't go into all the details of how “Stereo Photo Maker” works here but encourage anyone who is interested in doing this to explore the web site further. One warning though - the documentation and instructions provided are brief and a bit sketchy. I had to experiment a bit to figure out how to make it do what I wanted it to do. Once i figured it out however, it did a great job. Maybe when I have more time I will attempt to write a tutorial for it.